This project charts the history and nature of the relations composing the Pitt Rivers Museum through analysing the history of its collections. Ethnographic museums used to be seen as 'us' studying 'them'. A more productive approach is to view museums as trans-cultural artifacts composed of relations between the museum and various kinds of communities. The Museum is convinced that collections represent an unusually rich source for writing the histories of institutions, disciplines, individuals and communities. We see the project as having model value for research in other ethnographic, archaeological and social history collections.
The website aims to give information about the history of the Pitt Rivers Museum [PRM] from before its foundation in 1884 to the present day (mainly concentrating on the period up to 1945), its collections and staff. The site also gives access to the detailed statistics produced during the research project which show where the collections came from, what types of artefacts are included and information about the individuals who contributed to the Museum.